Intraday Automation – a subject very close to my own heart, of course – appears to be a phrase more and more people are talking about. People are beginning to see how automating those lengthy, manual intraday tasks can make a contact centre more agile and able to meet changing demands. In addition, it’s obvious that Intraday Automation software will bring massive reductions in workload for planning teams – allowing Intraday Analysts and Managers everywhere to ditch the admin and start on the road to adding even more value.
This is all very good, of course – but some people see it as a little bit ‘niche’. Sure, your Real Time Team is more efficient and the centre is more agile – but that’s not enough. There aren’t enough wide-ranging benefits for the whole business, according to some, to justify the time and money required to bring in new technology. ‘Hey,’ they say, ‘aren’t we already spending enough money on those guys in Planning? What more do they want?’.
And I can see that, if it were true that the only benefit was for the Real Time Team, that would be a reasonable argument.
Only if it were true, though. Which it isn’t.
There are massive, wide-ranging benefits to bringing in Intraday Automation, some of which will help your colleague engagement and make your company a better place to work whilst others will have a real, tangible impact on your bottom line. Here’s a few – and it’s not an exhaustive list by any means.
Shift Flexibility – lots of businesses do their best to allow agents to swap shifts or move breaks. The problem is these processes are time-consuming and manual so, often, the rules are designed to intentionally restrict the amount of opportunities available. With Intraday Automation via QStory’s ARTI, the process can be slick and automatic – and your agents can arrange their day to allow them to lunch with friends or attend that parents’ evening. This can help to reduce attrition and churn, improving the experience and quality of your workforce and reducing your refill recruitment costs at a stroke.
Doing more work with the same FTE. Sometimes, it’s just not that efficient to get your phone staff to support back office or vice versa. Communication delays and a lack of proactivity means that, whilst your business is multi-skilled and multi-channel, you are not getting enough ‘bang for your buck’. ARTI will provide you with a proactive view of when multiskilling is possible through the day, and will automatically communicate the change in activity – this means that you can ‘harvest’ more of that time and complete more of your competing workloads with fewer staff silos and fewer staff. This can substantially reduce your headcount costs AND dramatically improve your productivity.
Shrinkage (and therefore cost) reduction – at the moment, your cost model includes time set aside for training, development and communication. Increased agility and proactivity delivered by ARTI allows you to adaptively schedule these activities in natural ‘quiet’ times during a day, utilising non-productive time. An element of this ‘shrinkage’ suddenly isn’t shrinkage anymore – it is a productivity enhancement instead – allowing you to reduce your cost model and take cost directly off your bottom line!
Training and Investment ‘traction’ – Most businesses have their Scheduling team try to shoehorn all of their ‘investment shrinkage’ into the published schedules. It’s difficult and time-consuming and, as these schedules are produced weeks before contact day, Demand & Supply levels drastically change – they are inevitably at a time of day when the business can’t support them. An early casualty in the war between the plan and reality is Training and Investment time – by using ARTI to schedule these activities on the day, you greatly enhance the chances of the training actually happening as planned. You’ve just improved your training ‘traction’, making good on the development promises to agents, positively impacting your quality scores and eliminating repeat contracts.
Real Engagement and Inclusivity – Agents that can engage with their schedules, define their working day to meet their needs whilst still servicing the customers and who are confident that they will be trained and developed at the right times – that’s the dream, right? Team Leaders, Coaches or QA staff who have the ability to build their own day around the customer and deliver performance-enhancing interactions at the right moment – sounds good, right? ARTI allows you to genuinely engage with your front-line agents and your dedicated support networks like never before. Not only is colleague satisfaction raised and attrition reduced, new recruits can go from zero to hero much quicker as they are nurtured more attentively, reducing your new-starter impacts, protecting your customer experience and reducing your recruitment costs by addressing your new-starter attrition rate.
Phew! I’ll stop there.
It’s fair to say that the impact of Intraday Automation on your Contact Centre could be more than you’ve ever imagined. And it’s clear from the above that the Real Time guys in the corner are not going to be the only beneficiaries. Your workforce’s entire Contact Centre experience – and, of course, your customer’s – could be completely revolutionised. So, what are you waiting for?
Thank you for taking the time to read my blog. Let me know your thoughts. Contact me via LinkedIn or stop by our stand at The Forum National Planning Conference 2018 at Eastwood Hall in Nottingham on 21st November.